Pinctada is a genus of black-lip pearl oysters. These are saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks of the genus Pinctada in the family Pteriidae. They have a strong inner shell layer composed of nacre, also known as mother of pearl.
black-lip pearl oysters are not closely related to the edible oysters of family Ostreidae, and they are also not closely related to the freshwater pearl mussels of the families Unionidae and Margaritiferidae.Farming the Black-lip oyster (Pinctada
margaritifera) to produce pearls has been a viable industry in
the tropical Pacific region since 1976. Today the industry in
French Polynesia alone is worth approximately US$140 million
per year. Farming Black-lip pearl oysters for pearls in
the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands has substantial potential,
and although oyster populations remain low in many areas of
the region, farms currently exist in the Republic of the
Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. Pearl
farming can be done on many economic levels using various
approaches ranging from family or community arrangements
to commercial-scale enterprises. Certain aspects of pearl farming
do not require large capital outlay and use low technology
and sustainable methods that are suitable for rural and
under-developed areas. Spat collection is one of these methods.